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Food & Recipes

Move Over, Wings: Bang Bang Chicken Skewers Are the Perfect Spicy-Sweet Bite

Learn how to make your own bang bang sauce at home

Those weeknights when hunger hits hard and the fridge seems like a barren wasteland – we’ve all been there. But lately, my secret weapon has been bang bang chicken skewers. This might just be the quickest dinner I’ve made (22 minutes!) that tastes like it took me hours. Picture seasoned chicken bites brushed with a homemade sweet and spicy sauce, then cooked to perfection in the air fryer. Trust me, you won’t miss the takeout version. I’ve also got instructions for making them in the oven and some helpful prep tips, including the best type of skewers to use. This is how to make bang bang chicken skewers.

What is bang bang chicken?

Originating from Sichuan cuisine in China, traditional bang bang chicken features poached, shredded chicken dressed with a sweet and spicy sauce. But the version popular in Western cuisine uses crispy chicken pieces coated in a creamy, spicy sauce made from mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce and sriracha. “Bang bang” is said to come from the sound of pounding the chicken to tenderize it.

Love our Asian-inspired recipes? Try making Homemade Orange Chicken and Glass Noodles!

How to make the best bang bang chicken skewers

Creating delicious bang bang chicken skewers in the air fryer is quick and easy with these helpful tips below.

1. Marinate for flavor

Marinate the chicken pieces in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a bit of honey or brown sugar, ideally for at least 30 minutes. This adds depth of flavor and also helps tenderize the chicken.

2. Coat lightly

For a crispy texture, coat the marinated chicken in a light layer of cornstarch or a mixture of cornstarch and flour. Shake off any excess before placing the skewers in the air fryer to avoid clumping.

3. Choose your skewers

Short metal skewers are a great choice because they are reusable, heat evenly and are less likely to burn. But if you prefer disposable skewers, short wooden ones work well. But soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using them to prevent burning.

4. Preheat the air fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F before adding the chicken skewers. This helps to achieve a crispy exterior without overcooking the chicken.

Air fryer bang bang chicken recipe

bang bang chicken skewers with ingredients on black plate
Getty

I love this recipe from I Am Homesteader, which takes 10 minutes to prep. You can serve it as an appetizer or also a main course.

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Bang bang sauce

  • 1¼ cups mayonnaise
  • ⅔ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha, or more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. honey

Directions:

  • Total time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 16 skewers
  1. Firstly, in a large bowl, combine the cubed chicken breasts, oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Then, working one skewer at a time, thread 4-5 chicken cubes onto each.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce, Sriracha and honey. Then, mix well.
  3. Pour half the sauce into a separate bowl then set aside to use after the chicken has been cooked. Use the rest of the sauce to brush evenly over the chicken.
  4. Add the skewers to the basket of your air fryer in a single layer. You may also have to work in batches.
  5. Air fry at 400°F for 11-12 minutes, flipping halfway. Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Then, transfer the skewers to a plate and brush with the reserved bang bang sauce. Serve immediately.

Note: You can also bake the skewers in a 400°F oven on a lined baking sheet. But coat the skewers in the sauce after baking.

Storage instructions:

Store leftover skewers and bang bang sauce in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To enjoy again, learn how to reheat chicken in the microwave.


Other air fryer dishes to make for your next dinner:

Air Fryer Salmon Bites Are Juicy Nuggets of Flavor Goodness — Easy 5-Minute Recipe

This Turkey Meatloaf Recipe Cooks Fast in the Air Fryer + Chef’s Secret to Lock In Moisture

These Air Fryer Steak Bites Are Full of Fancy Flavor, Yet So Easy to Make in 20 Minutes

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